The Department of Licensing and Consumers said Friday that it will not enforce a new law that mandates most local businesses offer credit cards as a form of payment aside from cash, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
Effective April 3, Act 8205, sponsored by Kurt Vialet, gave DLCA the authority to enforce the new law by ascertaining that businesses were offering two forms of payment.
"Some persons do not have cash readily available and it is very inconvenient for customers who are unable to transact business with certain establishments that only accept cash payments," DLCA said. "The legislation is not applicable to itinerant vendors, farmers certified by the Department of Agriculture, fishermen certified by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs and commercial establishments with an annual volume of business of less than $50,000 per year."
Nonetheless, DLCA said when the bill was passed in 2019, it did not contemplate the coronavirus pandemic, which has upended regular operations. To that end, some businesses have only been accepting credit card for payment in an effort to minimize exposure of the virus.
For this reason, DLCA said it "will not administratively enforce against those establishments limiting form of payment available to customers to electronic payments" for the remainder of the existing public health state of emergency." DLCA said the decision is in the interest of protecting against the potential spread of the deadly pathogen.